Last week Morgan Stanley Dean Witter was seen shopping its own $230 million franchise loan-backed deal to asset-backed investors in the Rule 144A market, an inaugural transaction for the investment bank (see ASR 7/10/00).

The deal is a joint effort between MDSW's principal transaction group and American Commercial Capital, a San Diego-based franchise loan originator run by John Shrewsberry.

According to a source familiar with the transaction, 22% of the portfolio is made up of loans originated by Franchise Finance Corporation of America (FFCA), which MDSW purchased on a whole loan basis.

MDSW is one of a few banks out there with established franchise lending capabilities. Deutsche Bank issued its own loans via Global Franchise Trust 1998-1.

Both Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers have franchise lending units as well, though neither has issued into the ABS market, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data.

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